Windows Explorer very slow

August 12, 2008

For the past week or so I’ve noticed that sometimes navigating to files and folders in Windows Explorer is exceedingly slow. I’ve done all the usual checks for viruses and spyware, and searched on Google, but nothing appeared to be the same as my problem (and many of the ‘problems’ I found on Google were Internet Explorer issues, NOT Windows Explorer). However, one or two suggested ideas led me to the reason for it, and how to fix it.

The reason it was so slow? My Vista laptop is now part of the network and I had mapped a drive to it from my desktop PC. Every time I opened Windows Explorer on the desktop PC it was looking to reconnect that mapped drive. But the laptop was asleep, and thus undiscoverable to the network. As soon as I woke up (turned on) the laptop, everything worked fine.

Go figure. Surely if the mapped network connection isn’t active, Windows Explorer shouldn’t go looking for it every time!

Update 4 February 2009: After some recent issues with losing connections to mapped drives on the server, Outlook asking for a password, etc. the PC Guru guys got me to set a specific IP address for the DNS server. That seems to have solved all the issues! (It seems the PCs were looking to the new router first, then the server. Making this change means they look for the server first… at least that’s how I interpreted it!). You change the DNS server IP address here: Start > Control Panel > Network Connections,  right-click on Local Area Network, then select Properties. Scroll down and select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click Properties. You set the Primary DNS server address in this window.

Update 7 February 2009: It looks like all the recent problems (and perhaps the older ones too?) may have been caused by a combination of a network card dying, and some conflicting DNS information in the new router’s configuration. After getting a new network card and getting the PC Guru guys to configure it and the router, everything appears to be fine again. Oh, and the conflicting DNS info in the router may also have been causing the slow internet connection. Here’s hoping it’s all solved…


  1. […] now available PC Guru guys save the day — again February 7, 2009 After some ongoing issues with network connectivity, I lost all connection to the server on Thursday evening and we lost internet connection as well. I […]

  2. I had a very slow windows explorer screen population display on a notebook computer
    I found that by opening Win Explorer/tools/folder options/view
    Then unchecking, “Launch folder options in a seperate process” fixed the problem
    Hope this also helps

  3. Thanks for that tip, Robert. This option was already unchecked for me and I guess it has been for the life of this computer as I can’t recall every checking it.

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